How to Natively Schedule Organic Posts on Twitter


Did you know that Twitter houses its very own scheduling tool for users? Now you do! Most digital marketers these days use some type of social scheduling tool, and while that is perfectly acceptable (and totally encouraged), there’s nothing wrong with adding another social media tool to your utility belt – especially when it’s built in.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that you don’t need to get rid of your scheduling tools, because we all know those can be lifesavers! However, it’s great knowing that your scheduled tweets will appear exactly like the preview, which isn’t always the case on 3rd-party platforms. You’ll also be able to add Twitter Cards and videos using this method.

Check out our easy guide to learn how to use Twitter’s native scheduling platform.

Getting Started

To get started, head to www.ads.twitter.com and sign in. If you haven’t set up your account with Twitter Business, click here and get that set up first before you continue.

When you first open the platform, you will see your “Ads Dashboard”, which will show any ads that you’ve run on Twitter in the past. If you haven’t run anything, it will be empty.


Step 1:

Click on “Creatives” in the top menu bar and select “Tweets” You will be brought to your Tweet dashboard.


Step 2:

Click on the blue Tweet button in the top right corner of your screen, which will bring you to a compose dashboard.


Step 3:

Compose your Tweet and add necessary images, links, and text.



Step 4:

Un-check the “Promoted Only” Box. This is a vital step in the process. It ensures that your Tweet will post organically. If the box is checked, then Twitter will save it for an upcoming campaign and not post it publically.


Step 5:

Double check everything and click the drop down arrow next to “Tweet” and click “Schedule.” Then, choose the date and time that you want your Tweet to go live.


What’s Next?

After your Tweet is scheduled, you can click back to the Tweets manager to view it or edit it again before it goes live. You can access this dashboard by clicking “Tweets” under the creative option in the top menu bar. Here, you can choose between viewing your “Promoted-Only”, “Scheduled” “Draft” and “Organic” posts.

To view the post you just created, choose “Scheduled” in the drop-down menu.

Once your Tweet is live, you can check out the performance of it by heading to “Analytics” section of the platform or by clicking the analytics icon on the Tweet itself.


If you use Twitter every day for you your business, it is important to stay up-to-date on how to use the platform to its full potential! The more you know, the more success you’ll have. For more ways to stay updated on the latest digital marketing trends, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us across social media at the links below.

A Beginner’s Guide to UTM Codes

When you hear “UTM codes”, you may think that it’s far too complicated to try and understand. However, if you think about them like “Name tags” for your link, then it may be more digestible. These ‘name tags’ appear in analytics reports and let a website know exactly where the traffic is coming from. They also allow you to get the credit you deserve for clicks and the performance of marketing activities on your website. If you’ve struggled in the past with marketing attribution, read on for our Beginner’s Guide to UTM codes and they’ll be your close friend in no time.


UTM codes are a simple string of characters that are added to the end of a link in order for it to be tracked in Google Analytics. By putting a “?” at the end of your link, you are telling Google Analytics to start looking for the different name tags that you have assigned to the link. All you have to do is simply add ‘name tags’ (or parameters) to the end of your link for the feature to be activated.


There are several things that you can track when you are creating a campaign code, but we’ve found if you focus on the following three parameters, they will be the most useful to your marketing efforts.


Traffic Source

What it tracks: where the traffic is coming from. Typically, this means a specific website. Common sources include Facebook, Google, Bing etc.

Displays as: utm_source

Example: utm_source=twitter


Medium

What it tracks: the type of traffic the click is bringing into the site. This can answer questions like if it’s paid, social media or from a newsletter. This can include cpc, email, social, referral, display etc.

Displays as: utm_medium

Example: &utm_medium=social


Campaign Name

What it tracks: the performance of a specific campaign. It can help you differentiate your Facebook ad campaign and your email marketing campaign, and help you determine what is working best.

Displays as: utm_campaign

Example: utm_campaign_summer-hotel-campaign


This part is what most folks are the most intimidated by, but thankfully it is very easy! First, check out the Campaign URL Builder and follow these steps:

  1. Paste your general URL into the box & create your name tag by filling in the different fields below.

2. COPY your code from the ‘generated campaign URL’ field and PASTE it where it needs to go!


The final step in executing the use of UTM codes is actually seeing them show up in Google Analytics! Follow the steps below to see where to find your campaigns in the Google Analytics dashboard.


To successfully move forward with your digital strategy, it’s crucial to know where your web traffic is coming from as well as what is working and what is not. This will help you focus on the things that are bringing in the best traffic for the least amount of money.

For example: Say you have ‘winter wonderland’ landing page that you’re sharing across multiple platforms and in several campaigns. Without UTM codes, you wouldn’t be able to tell what’s driving the most and best traffic. By using them, you’ll be able to see that visitors from your newsletter are spending the most time on the page and your Twitter campaign is driving the most overall traffic, but spending less time on site.


Learning the basics of what a UTM code is, what it can do, and how to track different metrics is a great step forward in learning to become more strategic with your marketing. These simple steps will help you understand where you results are coming from and will hopefully provide insight into how to move your business forward in the digital sphere.

For more ways on how to stay-up-to-date on the lates digital marketing and tourism trends, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us across social media at the links below.

How to Decide What Events to Post about on Social

Events are major destination-drivers and a great way to spread awareness about them is by posting them across social media. Many destinations have several events going on in a single day, let alone over weeks and months. It’s easy to get things muddled up in terms of what happenings take precedence over others. So, how exactly are you supposed to know which ones to post about? Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to decipher what events to prioritize in your social feeds. 


Is this event likely to convert overnight stays?

Start by asking yourself this question: “Is someone likely to travel to your destination and stay in a hotel for the event?” If the event is a small or medium concert, a farmer’s market or even a small art fair, the answer is probably “no.” However, a three-day annual fair, a music festival or an event that is unique to your destination, like Dublin, Ohio’s Irish Festival, is definitely worth posting about.

These types of events are considered “destination drivers”. The event is big enough and niche enough for visitors to plan ahead for. We consider these “major events” that will likely require visitors to have to stay overnight. Typically, specific, unique, niche events fall into this category. Check out the example below of Dublin, Ohio’s Irish Festival.


Is the event relevant to a current leisure traveler?

If the event isn’t likely to convert overnight stays ask whether or not the event is relevant to someone traveling on a leisurely basis. This means you should be posting about things that draw people into your destination rather than things that are tailored to attracting locals. Here are a few instances of events that would be primarily attended by locals: 

  • Storytime at the local library 
  • Salsa night downtown 
  • Midnight movie showings at the local theater 

In other words, if you can find it anywhere, it’s probably not relevant to a leisure traveler. However, if there’s a superlative like; “Biggest Salsa Night in the US”, then its worthy of being placed on the content calendar!

A fantastic example of a unique destination-driving event is the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. This highly populated, 8-day festival, only takes place in Traverse City, making it a significant destination-centric event.


Does the event support a major partner or a larger DMO initiative?

There are ‘special case’ scenarios when an event doesn’t meet the criteria of the first two questions. Ask yourself if the event supports a major partner or larger DMO initiative. This may be different for a variety of destinations, but regardless, its a critical question to ask yourself! This essentially means that if your DMO works hard to promote a specific event that supports your organization or a local partner, its important to post about it across social.

A great example of this is the commonly held “Restaurant Week.” Restaurant Weeks take place across the US, and although it doesn’t typically convert overnight stays, if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into coordinating the event, it’s an excellent opportunity to feature your local restaurant partners. 

Another instance that would match these credentials would be a smaller event that supports a key element of your destination. Suppose that your major attraction like an Air & Space Museum was holding a fundraising event to raise funds for a major expansion. You could use the opportunity to provide more awareness about the museum and exciting new additions coming in the future!

Check out this easy to follow flow chart to help make these decisions quickly. Better yet, share it with your partners so they know what you promote and what you don’t!


What’s Next?

Once you’ve decided whether or not the event is going to make it onto your content calendar, you need to make sure that you have a robust landing page to accommodate the post. If an event meets any of the previous three criteria but doesn’t have a landing page on your website, take time to create a dedicated page to support it. Landing pages are absolutely key!

TwoSix Tip: Try to get away from using the term “event listing” at all costs. You need to build useful landing pages that ignite the discovery process. Just say no to event listings. Say yes to mobile-friendly, fully-integrated landing pages that extend the story for your website users. And, don’t forget those call-to-action items either!



Adding events into your weekly and monthly content plan is an excellent way to spread awareness of what is happening in your destination. Just be sure to select the right ones that help you reach your organization’s goals of driving overnight visitation. 

For more ways on how to best promote your destination, be sure to follow us across social media at the links below and subscribe to our newsletter. Not sure how to take the next step? Click below to contact us for more assistance. 

How to Claim Your Business on Google

Nowadays, the impact of Google on the tourism industry is constantly growing. Travelers are increasingly referring to Google Maps to figure out what’s around them – using it as a major influencer to make their travel decisions. This is exactly why it is important to make sure that your business is both listed on Google Maps and has a Google knowledge panel by being a verified Business on Google. Not only will being listed help people find you easier, but it will also increase your SEO by making sure your business shows up in search results! Check out our easy ,step-by-step guide on how to claim your business on Google. 


1. Make a Google My Business Account

The first step in appearing on Google Maps is to sign up for a Google My Business account. To create profile, you simply go to Google My Business and click “Manage Now.” Then, you add your business name in the search box.  

If the business is not claimed yet, you will click the “Manage Now” button to continue to set up your account 

If the business IS claimed, you will receive a notice saying that it has already been claimed, and you will need to request access to gain access to the Business account. 


2. Verify your Business 

Next, choose a verification method in order to verify your business. This can be done with phone, email or even by mail. Official verification can take a few days, but you can continue to update business settings while you wait.


3. Enter Necessary Business Information

Once you go through the process of requesting verification, you will be brought to the Google My Business dashboard, where you will add all of the necessary information in order for a visitor to find you on Google. To edit business information, navigate to the “Info” button in the left-hand menu. 

Important things to include: 

  • Business Hours 
  • Images of your business 
  • Business description
  • Your website 

4. What’s Next with Google My Business?

Now that you’re on the map (quite literally…) what’s next? First, check out the previews of what you look like on Google Maps and in search results to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Once you’ve finished putting the final touches on your listing, you can start to use Google Posts to ensure your latest blog posts show up in search results. Plus, keep track of your Google Reviews, search activity and latest insights on Google searches related to your industry.

Finally, make sure you are consistently checking in on your Google listing and updating your post feed so users can see the newest results when they find you in their search results!


For more ways to stay up to date on the latest trends in travel, tourism, and digital marketing, be sure to follow us across social media at the links below or subscribe to our e-newsletter!

How to Create Successful Social Video

Video content is a key driver of traffic across social media. According to Hootsuite, “the number of daily videos produced on Instagram has quadrupled in the last five years, and YouTube users watch more than a billion hours of content every day.” Additionally, a Tweet with a video is 6x more likely to be retweeted than one with an image. So how exactly do you adapt social video into your weekly and monthly content calendar? Check out these key components of how to make successful videos on social media to help in your planning.


Aspect Ratio

First, it’s important to mention that the ideal “aspect ratio” or “size” of your video is dependent on which platform you are posting on. Have no fear! Typically, the 1:1 ratio will work if you don’t have the ability to change it across multiple platforms. However, if you’re looking for the exact sizes that work for different platforms, follow these guidelines:

Facebook
  • Landscape: 19:6, Portrait: 9:16, recommended video dimensions: 1280 x 720
  • Mobile renders both video types to an aspect ratio of 2:3
  • Recommended: 720 x 1080
Instagram
  • Landscape: 16:9, minimum dimension 600 x 315
  • Square: 1:1, minimum dimension 600 x 600
  • Vertical: 4:5, minimum dimension 600 x 750
  • Recommended: 864 x 1080
Twitter
  • Range between 1:2.39 to 2.39.1
  • Landscape Dimensions: 320 x 180, 640 x 360 or 1280 x 720
  • Portrait Dimensions: 240 x 240, 480 x 480, or 640 x 640
  • Recommended: 640 x 640
YouTube
  • Recommended aspect ratio is 16:9
  • Maximum dimension: 3840 x 2160
  • Minimum dimension: 426 x 240

Length of Time

Keep things short and sweet! The average person has only an 2-second attention span on Facebook, and this is demonstrative of social media across the board. Make sure your video engages the user within the first 3 seconds, and keep your organic video posts to around 30, impactful seconds. Save long-form content (anything longer than 60 seconds) for IGTV, Facebook Watch, and YouTube!


Optimized for Mobile – Captions

Make your videos simple enough so that they can be easily understood and digested on a mobile device! Since over half of social videos are streamed on mobile, it’s a key component of creating your video content.

This means that you need to simplify the video by adding captions or graphics to it so that your message isn’t lost if someone watches it without sound on. Test it out! Try watching your content without sound to see if it still gets the message across! Here’s a great example:


Quality Content

Not only does the size, mobility, and length of your videos matter, the actual quality of the content does as well! Ensure that your video content is high-resolution and that it provides value to your audience. First off, high-resolution videos have the ability to catch more attention than low-resolution videos do in a user’s feed. Second, think about this before you post your video: “how will my audience benefit from this?”


Video content is already one of the best ways to catch users’ attention, and its share of our collective social media consumption is only growing. By ensuring your video is high-quality, optimized for mobile, has an aspect ratio is well-suited to the platform, and is short and impactful, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you’re set up for success.

For more ways to stay up to date on the latest digital marketing and tourism trends, be sure to follow us across social media at the links below or subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Why Your Website Needs to Be Faster

Mobile web traffic
Why your website needs to be faster

We expect rapid results in our everyday lives. Nowadays, we have practically unlimited amounts of information at our fingertips. Consequently, if your site doesn’t load fast enough on mobile, users will go somewhere else. It’s that simple. But how fast, is “fast enough”? Read on to learn why your website needs to be faster:

What Load Time Looks Like

We slowed down our website’s load time to give a sense of how long 10 seconds is on the internet. If you were scrolling on Facebook and clicked a link, how long would you wait for it to load?

Case Studies on Site Speed

It’s impossible to be engaged by content that you can’t see.

Why It Matters

Why Your Website Needs to Be Faster
Benchmarks for Mobile Page Speed
Source: think with Google

At TwoSix Digital, we see tourism websites with at least 50% of web visits coming from mobile and, typically, it accounts for about 60-70% of traffic. This number is growing every year. This is why it’s imperative to ensure that your website is quick enough to keep users interested.

Above, you can watch that same video with drop-off statistics based on load times.

How to Test Your Site

how to test how fast your website is on mobile

Each web page on your website is different. Each has its own pictures, information, and features. A great way to see the load times of pages on your website is with Google Analytics’ site speed tool. Google also offers an easy “Test My Site” tool that analyzes different URLs and reports on mobile speed. If you want to see exactly where your page is slowing down, then check out WebPageTest,.

How Fast Should Your Website Be?

If a slow mobile experience drives customers away, a fast mobile experience can help attract and keep them.

think with Google

We recommend keeping your page load times to under 3 seconds, and try to have at least one thing visible on your screen, such as a menu or image within the 1st second.

How Do I Make My Website Faster?

why your website needs to be faster use lazy loading
An example of “Lazy Loading“, when images appear blurry at first.

The first step is to contact your developer and tell them your benchmarks – specifically for mobile. While desktop speed is important, mobile site speed is paramount. Compressing images and text, along with employing a technique called “lazy loading“, are good places to start. If you want to go a bit more in depth, check out these recommendations.


Today, site speed is one of the important aspects of a website, and comes into play before content is ever seen. Consequently, it will always affect how effective your digital marketing will be, and should be considered a priority. If you’re looking for new ways to stay updated on destination marketing, be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us across social media at the links below! 

How to Generate More Traffic to Your Tourism Blog


Your tourism blog is one of the best ways to tell your story to consumers. Not only should you consistently update your blog to inform users about your destination and maintain sustainable SEO, but you should also be strategic about where you are distributing your blog once it’s live on your website. 

We recommend living by the “5 Rule” which means that every piece of content on your website or blog has the potential to be shared at least five different ways after it is published on your site. Read on to learn how to generate more traffic to your tourism blog in no time! 

Facebook

First and foremost, every blog deserves a Facebook post! Not only this, but every blog deserves to be activated with Paid Promotion on Facebook as well. When youre putting together your blog post for Facebook, carefully consider how your blog content is related to specific niche markets that you can target. For example, if your blog is about wine tasting in the area, consider targeting your post to reach wine enthusiasts in feeder markets. When crafting your post, make sure to think about the small details, too, especially your link header text* and the image accompanying the link. Finally, include language that will encourage users to act!

*You can no longer edit the link header text when you are uploading your link to your post, you will likely have to think of this when you are crafting your post on the website side. 


Twitter

A great next step in your blog distribution is to support it by tweeting about it! We recommend thinking of three different ways to compose tweets on the subject. Since the Twitter algorithm seems to constantly be changing, it’s important that you trickle the distribution of your blog on Twitter throughout the week with different days and times to achieve best performance on the platform. 


Instagram

Next up you’ll want to generate awareness of your blog on Instagram both in the feed and on your stories. Start by replacing the link in your bio with your new shortened link. This is especially important because links are not clickable in the captions of an Instagram photo! When you’re crafting your post, be sure that youre posting it in a way that will resonate on Instagram. This means, use your best photo to make sure the post stops scrolling thumbs! You can also post about the blog on your story and give readers a snippet of what the blog contains to help encourage them to swipe up or click the link in your bio. 

Read this blog for tips on putting together a noteworthy Instagram story.


Pinterest 

Pinterest is a highly effective tool for supporting blog content for tourism as it can combine your images and links in a very appealing way. We recommend pinning every photo from your blog to Pinterest to ensure full coverage! Make sure youre including the direct URL to your website to ensure highest possible performance and pull in traffic to your website.


E-Newsletter

Lastly, it’s vital to include your content in your tourism e-newsletter, as it’s a key tool in driving traffic to your website as well as keeping users informed on a regular basis. If youre on a weekly blog distribution schedule (as opposed to monthly), you don’t have to include every piece of content that you write in your newsletter, as this could potentially be overwhelming for readers. But, if youre having trouble deciding which blogs to include in your newsletter, consider taking a look at your most popular posts on your Google Analytics and go from there! For more tips on putting together a tourism e-newsletter, check out this blog.


It is critical to distribute your tourism blog across all digital platforms of your organization. This strategy will allow you to reach a wider variety of you audience as you aren’t focusing on just one platform. By following these distribution tips, your tourism blog will gain more traffic in no time! If you are looking for new ways to stay updated on your destination marketing, be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us across social media at the links below! 

How to Natively Schedule Posts on Instagram


Recently, Instagram users have been given the ability to publish and schedule Instagram posts directly from Facebook’s Creator Studio on desktop, making content creation and scheduling even more efficient than ever before! The update will even allow you to tag the location and tag users in the post, along with also publish IGTV content right from the platform. Follow these quick and easy steps to learn how to schedule and post your content on Instagram with Facebook’s Creator Studio! 

First off, make sure that your Instagram account is connected to Facebook. If you’ve already been running ads on Facebook and Instagram, you should be all set. If not, you can follow these steps to get it set up.

Next, begin to craft a post by following these steps:

1. Make sure all of your content, including your caption, is ready to upload. 

2. Open Creator Studio and make sure that your Instagram account is selected from the dropdown menu at the top. This step is especially important if you have multiple Instagram accounts connected to Facebook. 



3. Click “Create Post” in the top left-hand corner and select “IGTV” or “Instagram Feed.” Choose “Instagram Feed” if you’re going for a typical post.



4. Use the crop tools to adjust your content accordingly, then add your caption, location and tags. You can also upload multiple images here if your post contains multiple images.


5. Finally, either click “Publish” or “Schedule” to get things going!

After your post is scheduled in the queue, you’ll be able to click on the post in your Content Library to see what it will look like in the Instagram feed! You can also refer back to this page to track Instagram metrics including reach, impressions and interactions with the post after it goes live!

Using this tool is a great way to keep your Instagram and Facebook content consistent and housed in the same platform. To continue your marketing education and to stay up-to-date on the latest news, click below and follow us across social media to stay up-to-date on the latest destination marketing trends. 

Key Elements to a Successful Partner Newsletter


If you are looking for a simple solution to making sure that your destination partners are staying updated on all of your destination happenings, we have the answer for you! Create a newsletter and consistent distribution schedule to effectively communicate with your partners regularly. Read on for a few key elements to your partner newsletter:

Before we get started, remember: this doesn’t have to be on the same distribution as your monthly leisure newsletter. It can be less or more frequent, depending on the peak season for your destination. 


1. Schedule

Before you do anything else, determine a regular distribution schedule for your partner newsletter that you can and will stick to! Think about events in your area that might be necessary to address or just how often you would like to be communicating with your partners. 


2. Contacts

Next, make sure that you have all of the emails of your area partners before getting started! Your updates won’t be much use unless they’re reaching the right people. If you don’t have these, try collecting them at your next partner event.


3. The Template

Once you’ve set your schedule and establish your partner email database, it’s time to build out your partner newsletter template. The template should be simple and easy-to-use since you will be using it on a fairly consistent basis. The template should consist of these main content elements: 

  1. An event run down for the coming month/week
  2. An educational or news article about travel or destination marketing best practices 
  3. Optional: Include one of your recent blogs if it is relevant to your partners 
  4. Include any possible ways that your partners can connect with community: do you have events coming up that they could sponsor or host? This is a great way to communicate those ideas 

Check out this great partner newsletter example from Pure Ludington


4. Keep Up the Good Work

Along with these major content elements, it’s important to  practice good email marketing habits like: 

  • Use intriguing, relevant, and different subject line and preview text in each email (with emojis!)
  • Change your header image periodically (seasonal works well)
  • Include social media links at the top and bottom of your messages 
  • Keep things clean and concise for your readers

When you are crafting your partner email, it is important to keep in mind that you are their main source for destination information. Being accessible and communicating the key events will allow your partners to be involved and will likely foster a positive relationship with them moving forward! For more tips and tricks on how to develop your digital marketing strategy for your destination, follow us across social media at the links below and subscribe to our e-newsletter


Looking to learn more about email marketing strategy for your destination? Contact us for more information about working with us! 

5 Creative Tips for Pinterest

Pinterest is a key tool for destination marketers as a way to showcase the wide variety of opportunities that a destination has to offer. Here are 5 creative tips to think about when you’re crafting your next post on Pinterest.


1. Use an Eye Catching Image

The first thing a user will notice and what will ultimately convince them to click is the image. You want your image to stand out from the rest and have a unique or interesting element that’s immediately noticeable. Also, make sure that the image is high-resolution. Check out these examples from tourism brands: 


2. Go Vertical

Pinterest reports that 85% of users are on mobile when using the platform. Consequently, you should always try to use a vertical image that will show up well in users’ feeds. Pinterest recommends a 2:3 aspect ratio; otherwise, your image may be automatically cropped. Check out the difference it can make:

Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado

3. Think “on-brand”

Make sure that you think of your destination and your company’s brand standards as the focal point of the pin. If you stray too far into using different fonts, sizes or types of images, you won’t be showcasing your brand to your consumers, which could negatively impact the performance of a pin – and general brand awareness! Keep your message clear and consistent across the platform! 


4. Include your Logo

Yes, that’s right. Include your logo very subtly in the lower left corner or justified to the center in order for your followers to know that it’s an official posting from your brand. This will allow your consumers to know the difference between the content you’ve created and outsider’s content. 


5. Add text overlay to tell a better story

Adding text to an image can be a great way communicate your message to potential pinners. “Text overlay” simply means the text on the image that you use for your Pin. Text on an image typically performs the best when the text is concise, or less than 100 characters. Check out this example:


Finally, remember that Pinterest is ultimately a visual search engine for your audience. Likely, a potential traveler will begin their trip planning process at a search engine and finding creative ways to inspire travel to your destination is key when you’re developing your Pinterest strategy. 

To stay updated on digital marketing practices for your destination, be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter and follow us across social media with the links below!